Secondary Chemistry

Study options



Key facts

UCAS code:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
9 Months
Start date:
9 September 2024

Superb science facilities

You’ll have access to our £30m Science Centre

Hands-on training

You’ll spend at least 120 days working in two local secondary schools

Become part of our Institute of Education

Our staff are research-active and experts in school support

Science is everywhere in our lives. It’s also helped humans achieve more than we ever thought possible – from walking on the moon to conquering disease. That journey starts with science education, where pupils develop their curiosity and explore the world around them. Our Secondary Chemistry PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) will equip you with strategies to become a confident and successful science teacher across KS3 and KS4.

You’ll look at how to help pupils understand the materials we use in everyday life, such as toothpaste, cosmetics and cleaning products. Chemistry is also the key to many other aspects of science, including climate science, geology and forensics.

Although you will specialise in chemistry, the training also covers biology and physics. It means you can become a fully rounded science teacher.

You’ll spend time in local schools, plan engaging lessons, cover behaviour management techniques and discover how pupils learn. On campus, we’ll help you reflect on your teaching from a subject-specific perspective and give you one-to-one support.

But you’ll get far more than just a teacher training qualification with us. As part of our Institute of Education, you’ll have access to the latest research on what works in the classroom and other evidence-based approaches.

On the PGCE, you can see practical sessions in action at our £30m Science Centre. You’ll also take part in field trips and other innovative practical work.

And there will be plenty of hands-on experience on placement too.

From getting the most out of your induction to tips on teaching your first lesson, your personal tutor will be there to support you every step of the way. We have also developed a close partnership with school-based mentors for your placements.

And you’ll be able to draw on a wide range of other expertise, including science experts at a local college and the North Midlands Science Learning Partnership.

After you pass your PGCE, you will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). But the support doesn’t stop there - we’ll even offer you a mock interview in a school to prepare you for job applications.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: PGCE Secondary Chemistry

Work placements

At Staffordshire University, we have partner schools in the Midlands and North West. As well as close links with those in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire and Cheshire, we work with schools in Derbyshire, Shropshire and Birmingham.

We will always aim to arrange placements within 40 minutes of where you live.

Course content

 Our Secondary Chemistry PGCE lasts for one academic year, from September until the end of July. This school-led course includes an induction to prepare you for your placement and weekly face-to-face sessions at the University to develop your knowledge of the curriculum and subject-specific pedagogy. You will also undertake 20 Intensive Training and Practice (ITaP) days focused on foundational areas of learning to further develop your practice in the classroom.

To give you experience in the classroom, you’ll spend at least 120 days working in two local secondary schools as well as visiting a local primary school. But, don’t worry, you won’t have the pressure of teaching an entire lesson straight away.

Your training will begin with observing a teacher and helping with group work. Then you’ll share the classes with the teacher and work towards teaching lessons independently.

Alongside teaching, you’ll join in with day-to-day life at the school. Each school has a professional mentor to help you understand the ethos, pastoral care systems, legal and social framework, and supporting services.

You’ll also have weekly meetings with your subject or class mentor to help you prepare for teaching, review lessons, and develop your subject knowledge.

Why study a PGCE at Staffordshire University?

Why study a PGCE at Staffordshire University?


Find out more about the benefits of studying a PGCE at Staffordshire University

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The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Entry requirements

You can apply for this course via Please click on this link to start your application.

For this course, you need an Honours Degree with a 2:2 classification in a Chemistry related degree with at least half of the content related to Chemistry and a GCSE grade C/4 or above in both English Language and Mathematics, we also expect you to be confident in technology.

Applicants will be expected to teach Chemistry across all relevant key stages as well as Biology and Physics at KS3 and possibly KS4, so an additional qualification in one or both of these subjects is highly desirable.

After you apply, we’ll arrange a selection interview. During the interview process we will assess your subject knowledge and personal qualities, such as communication skills, resilience for teaching, and how easy you’ll find it to relate to secondary age students.

If you accept a formal offer, you’ll need to meet the Department for Education’s standards for physical and mental fitness to teach and you’ll need clearance to work with children (Enhanced DBS).

The university requires a minimum of IELTS 7, with a minimum score of 6.5 in any one area

For equivalent entry requirements in your home country, please see the information on our country pages.

Choose your country

Check our entry and English language requirements for your country.




We have Libraries and service desks at both sites in Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford. Our experienced and friendly staff can answer your IT queries, help you to access resources, show you how to research for your assignments and help with referencing.


With a PGCE and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), you’ll be ready to teach Chemistry in secondary schools across England.

Most of our graduates secure their first teaching position while on the PGCE, with many of them securing roles within our partnership schools.

After you’ve completed this course, you can join our Masters in Education. Your PGCE gives you Masters credits which means you’ll be fast tracked and can complete this course by the end of your second year of teaching.

All students have access to Career Connect, our dedicated careers team.

Teaching and assessment

Learning support

Your course tutors will provide lots of support. But you can also take advantage of our Academic Skills team, who can help you with:

  • Study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • Written English (including punctuation, grammar)
  • Academic writing (including how to reference)
  • Research skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Revision, assessment and exam skills (including time management)

Additional support

If you have additional needs like dyslexia or a sensory impairment, then our Student Inclusion Services are here to help make sure nothing stands in your way.


Kate Dale

Senior Lecturer

I love solving problems and seeing pupils enjoy and succeed in mathematics. My focus is now on supporting the next generation of teachers to become reflective, research-informed teachers who support and develop all pupils to become mathematicians.

Kate's profile


For the course starting on 9 September 2024 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for PGCE-Full-time
Study option UK / Channel Islands International
Full-time £9,250 per course £16,750 per course
Included in tuition fees
Included in the fees:

If you accept a place with us, we’ll cover the cost of your Enhanced DBS check. You’ll also receive Level 1 Safeguarding training during induction week.

Accommodation and living costs
Accommodation and living costs

Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

For more information on accommodation and living costs, please see: Accommodation

Sources of financial support

Sources of financial support

You can apply to the Student Loans Company (SLC) for the following support:

  • Tuition Fee Loan – To cover the cost of your tuition fees.
  • Maintenance Loan – To support you with living costs such as food, accommodation and travel.

For more information and how to apply visit

Scholarships and additional funding

You may be eligible for a bursary or scholarship when training to teach. These are tax-free amounts of money you receive to train in certain subjects. You do not need to pay them back.

Your bursary or scholarship will be paid in a minimum of 10 equal monthly instalments over the duration of your course by your teacher training provider.

Your teacher training provider will confirm the payment dates and amounts.

Postgraduate teaching bursaries and scholarships are only available for certain secondary subjects. You cannot receive both a teaching bursary and a scholarship.

You must be eligible for student finance to receive a bursary or scholarship (unless you’re training to teach physics or languages).

You cannot receive a scholarship or bursary if your teacher training course is salaried.

For more information and how to apply visit

You may also be eligible for a Staffordshire University bursary when you choose to study one of our postgraduate Education courses. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page to find out more.

Our students

The placement is wonderful and Staffs Uni really took personal circumstances into account when arranging the placement.

The staff are fantastic and amazingly supportive – they all want to help the most that they can. The content which is delivered is not only useful for future careers, but also interesting and thought provoking.

The placement is wonderful and Staffs Uni really took personal circumstances into account when arranging the placement. The communication between the Uni and the placement have been fantastic.

Kim Holloway

Secondary Biology PGCE

It has been a real pleasure to be able to support a trainee teacher from Staffordshire University.

My trainee has been well supported throughout his course with both academic and pastoral support provided by the university. In terms of supporting me as a mentor, the university have provided training sessions on how to become a mentor. In terms of supporting my professional development the university have also invited me speak to their trainee teachers as well as inviting me to become further involved with the SSTEC website.

Mr Joe Pettit

Science Teacher, Biddulph High School

The PGCE team are friendly, supportive, and at the forefront of educational research.

I would encourage anyone considering studying the PGCE in Secondary Biology to apply! The PGCE team are friendly, supportive, and at the forefront of educational research. The PGCE is a hard course but the PGCE has been developed to have our wellbeing at the heart to ensure we can be the most effective practitioners.  

I have specifically enjoyed the placement school. I have been supported highly by the staff at the school and from the PGCE team. The placement I was matched with was in the local area. My school placement has been very supportive at all times. They have been excellent at providing on-going training that complements the taught material at university. 

Billy Goldstraw

Secondary Biology PGCE

Staffs Uni had encouraged my trainee to always be prepared and this was demonstrated throughout her placement.

I have really enjoyed being a Staffs Uni mentor. My trainee was organised and conscientious and became a very reflective practitioner which enabled her to achieve her potential. Her wiliness to take on feedback and act on this allowed her to develop and in turn this allowed our pupils to make brilliant progress.

My trainee produced high quality resources that were shared with other teachers in the department and helped students make progress outside of her timetabled lessons. She became a valuable member of our department as well as contributing to the wider school community and providing great pastoral care. Staffs Uni's paperwork was efficient and uncomplicated and it did not add to workload unnecessarily. I definitely look forward to having another trainee from Staffs Uni and have nothing but compliments for the course.

Carla Gibb

Blessed William Howard School

I completed a placement in a local secondary school which enabled me to gain experience to go onto the teacher training course.

I completed a placement in a local secondary school which enabled me to gain experience to go onto the teacher training course that I am now on. Although we only had to complete this for two weeks, I stayed for around six months, working around my days in university.

I plan to complete my NQT year next academic year and teach in a local secondary school, which have already offered me a job.

I made so many great friends at Staffs and I wish I could do my time here again! 

Emma Gilbert

Secondary Biology PGCE


Location Award Study option Start date Apply Link
Stoke-on-Trent campus PGCE Full-time 9 September 2024 Apply now

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations

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